Saturday, November 29, 2003


We reshape our definition of family daily and maybe that is a good thing. Family is so much more than biology, it has become an ill suited definition. Or maybe it never really worked, I have no clue really.

I only know that half-brother is a stupid phrase when the person has your whole heart. And I know that I have friends who don't even mention their biological families but when they get sick there are people there to take care of them. I have friends who are gay whose families have cut them out and I have friends who have cut there families out for one reason or another.

BUT, we all have families. I have more siblings than a Saudi Princess. They happen to be an insane crew of punk rockers from Orange County, New York and Poets from all over New York City, lawyers, future lawyers, and people who are definatly gonna need lawyers. People who have wounds they are picking at, and people who are trying to let their wounds heal. We raise one another's kids and we hold each other's heads when it is time to throw up. In its agony, it is beautiful.

So it is something we are constantly reshaping. What aren't we constantly reshaping? Love. That is all I know we should do.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

"I dont wanna work, I wanna bang on me drum all day" --The Specials

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Monday, November 24, 2003


If you don't know--Nina is not my real name. It is the name that my baby sister gave me when she couldn't say my real name. It is what my college friends call me and it is what I perform under.

I've always felt that I have to picl a last name for it for multiple reasons. Mostly so that it is easier to differentiate me from other Nina's. I knew I wasn't gonna use my given name. That is not the place where my writing comes from.

I thought about using my mother's maiden name but, everyone is a Garcia.
I thought about my mother's mother's maiden name but I don't like how Nina Silva sounded.

I have finally decided on my other grandmother's maiden name. She was a big inspiration for me, introduced me to the Lower East Side and there is another cool thing. Parrillar means to grill. I kinda like that.

So the pen name is Nina Parrilla. Taadaa

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My Weekend

(Before you read further put on Mamas and the Papas Monday Monday....okay commence)

In one word--llena. Don't speak Spanish, that means full.
Friday night I get out of work and fly up town. Get home, put on Nas "one mic", put it on repeat, shower, dress, paint toe nails, grab food, grab poems and leave
to get stuck on the train for an hour. I chatted with this pregnant lady who was really nice. I felt bad cause the train was getting hot. We were held up by an "incident" at the 14th street stop. Of course I was getting off at Times Square but thems are the breaks.
Eventually I got to Tixe. It was a great night. I read 7 of my pieces and got to hear Juan and Jessica read and that was cool. Tyrone and Rebecca rocked in there mediums and I loved it. What was really cool to me was watching a tall black guy in a Fubu sweatshirt rock out to this Little pixie looking white girl. Music is wonderful.
We hung out at Ray's after. Was one of those times when you just couldn't go home.

Saturday I spent the day...Jesus I don't know what I spent the day doing, packing, playing my guitar, making a half vain attempt to study, napping. Got a phone call from a cousin I had never met cause he was here from PR and his hotel situation is kinda strained. So, I meet him and we are dressed the same (black fitted t-shirt, dark jeans, brown boots) which I find funny. Some of his friends were under age so I took them to Tixe cause it was the only thing I could think of. However, they couldn't understand what was going on so we had to leave. I was kinda sad cause there was folks I wanted to hear.
My cousin and I split from that crew and went downtown to stay in my Titi's apartment. My titi was upstate. So we went to Baraza which is always a good time and I highly recommend it. There are $5 mojitos and capirenha's AND one of the best bartenders in New York, More (that is her name). They play Samba and Salsa and Merengue and I love it AND there is no cover. Just don't be crowding the place so bad I can't get in.

Sunday was more packing and then Rich V (cause I think I still have more than one friend rich...i think) came and helped me bring some of it downtown and we had dinner at El Malecon and great conversation. What did we talk about? You'ld like to know wouldn't you...

Now it is Monday and I FEEL GREAT. But, I have a ton to do and I should get my shifts in gear so. Muah. Go listen to the Mamas and the Papas, really, it's good for you, I swear ....

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Sunday, November 23, 2003


To the poetry crew, and you know who you are, I just wanted you to know that I love you guys SO MUCH.

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Thursday, November 20, 2003

OJ in Reverse

So the news is giving us minute by minute updates on the progress of Michael Jackson back to California. This is reminding me of OJ. I think they are both guilty. OJ for one set of reasons MJ for another set.

After MJ bought his way out of the last set of allegations California changed their laws in order to be able to compel victims in molestation cases to testify. Is this a good thing? I am not exactly sure.

As for MJ I just think his growth is stunted. I think he is stuck in a child like state because he had his childhood ripped from him. It really is a very sad thing. I think somewhere in his head he thought he was just having fun with his friends when in fact he is a grown man that was molesting children.

Hope his lawyer's try to cop an insanity plea

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Could you hear my scream this morning? You see I discovered that my property final is a week earlier than I thought. I had the days of my property final and my international law final mixed up. Which means I have been studying in the wrong order. Grrr.

ON another note. I have embraced the fact that I am a total Type A personality. I have so much on my plate right now and everything is getting done and I am in such a good mood that I think it is annoying for the people around me. OOh well.

The move started last night which has me very happy. I am so ready to live in my own place and practice my guitar in the morning completely guilt free. Once things calm down I promise I will put a real post about a real topic.

Still singing Partridge Family songs.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2003


"No time to count what I'm worth
Hey I just left the planet earth
But a' where I go I hope there's rum
Not to worry, more soon come" From Jimmy Buffet "Volcano"

Yes, I am quoting the volcano song. It is such a freaking cheerful song and this morning I have afterglow. If you were at Bar 13 last night you know why.

Life is mad busy right now. If one more thing gets put on my list I think my hair will fall out.
Love you all.

As she exits picture the partridge family singing that "Come on Get happy song"

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Monday, November 17, 2003



Okay, so I need opinions and here is the story. I believe that nothing is created in a vacumn, we get our inspiration from somewhere and we build on the blocks of others. But, what happens when you think something you wrote is too similar to something someone else wrote?

Last night I went out to be inspired. After a week of law I needed something. So, I went to the Studio Jam which was just awesome. This morning I wrote something, and I believe I wrote something that is really good. I am really happy with it. It is autobiographical and long and sexy and personally I love it.

As I was walking to school I realized it is similar to something I heard last night, that was long and sexy and fictitious.

Similarities, the rhythm of the piece and the fact that they are both about a day.

So, now I feel dirty. I don't know if my piece is unique enough. But, I want to read the piece. I like the piece. I think it is good and if anything it lets you into me more...which I like.

So, what do you do? Emails please....

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Sunday, November 16, 2003

A Meeting

It is not often that I lose words, or don't even have the words, to describe something that has happened to me or someone that I have met. Friday, I had to go to the UN for a class. It is a seminar I am taking called UN Peacekeeping. I have dubious feelings about the topic and the class has been amazing. My professor has worked at/for the UN for around thirty years. So, when he invited us to go to meet people I figured it would be worth my while.

I got to the UN and waited in the lobby with my classmates. Our professor, Dr. Lee, came and escorted us to the conference room. We were to hear three speakers. The first was a woman from the US delegation. I cannot remember a word she said mostly because it is the same rhetoric I have heard repeatidly about the US stance towards peacekeeping and the UN. They hold it in contempt. I think that has become clear lately. The second speaker was from the Chinese delegation. I think this shows how much people respect Dr. Lee because the Chinese rarely let someone speak. Again, it was a position I was familiar with. I was impressed that he felt comfortable speaking candidly, though his candidness did not reveal anything controversial. About twenty minutes into the Chinese speaker a man walked into the room.

He was one of those people that you watch walk into a room. Tall, silver hair over brown skin, his face looked like a weathered tree and his eyes....I couldn't even begin to find the words to describe what an incredible wisdom they conveyed. After the Chinese speaker was done we were introduced to this man, Ambassador Ahmad Kamal. I can't tell you how old he is because I don't know. I do know that he was Pakistan's ambassador to China in the late sixties. He is now Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN.

If a talk on UN peacekeeping was worth a dollar, what he gave me is worth a million. He began by discussing the UN Charter. It truly secures power in the hands of the Western world. If you don't believe me read the thing, especially the parts about the Security Council and the P-5. As he informed us, "This is not my UN Charter, it isn't the UN Charter of most of you. We were still in the womb of our colonial mother's." As someone who feels my island is still in the womb, I was just blown away (PR's status, and my ability to have an opinion on it, will be discussed at some future point).

Then he talked about the problems in Africa and how Africa as a whole is ignored. I was the only person in the room with any obvious African descent but he looked us in the face and reminded that we are all African. It wasn't what he said but how he said it that was so gripping. He talked about evolution and migration and responsibility and I was literally moved to tears. Which, of course, I did not want my classmates to see.

I could go on about his talk but you could just go online and read some of the things he has written. Amazing. Then the Ambassador gave us a personal tour of the UN. You could see how much he was loved as every single security guard said HI to him and shook his hand. They waved us into places I don't really think we were supposed to go, so I won't get into what I got to see.

After I was so blown away I went to Don Pedro's (which I didn't go to Thursday) and sat and ate and wrote. I don't think I will ever do this man justice with my words but I will say this.

He affected me. I don't exactly know what type of career I am preparing for. There are classes in law school that are not required, but that people say you "should take". I have not taken any of them nor do I plan on it. My classes are a hodge podge of American Political law type classes and International Law classes. I don't know if I will be happy at a big firm, and I guess I will find out this summer. Little firms don't exactly do International Law. Plus, the classes I am taking are International Political Law type classes rather than business classes.

Example, next semester I want to take three classes; Employment Law, Constitution and Foreign Affairs, and Legislation AND two seminars; Immigration Law and Policy, and Enforcing International Law. I know law school just teaches you to think like a lawyer and you learn the real stuff on the job so, I am comfortable with this. I think I know how I want to apply it all now.

You see for all my studies on International Law and for all my international studies as an undergraduate--I have never left the country. Never been to even Canada or Mexico. But I realized, I think I want to work with refugees. It would be such a combination of what I have studied and am passionate about. I could use my knowledge of national law and politics to get them here and help them stay here. I can then use my knowledge of international law to help them sue the people who abused their human rights. A pipe dream. Maybe. No worse than other people's dreams. When will I do this. I don't know. Right now I am not even in the financial position to volunteer. The thought is out there. I feel compelled. And all because of one friday afternoon.

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Thursday, November 13, 2003

Why is it, when there is finally a black kid on Friends he the kid who accidently kicks Ross in the head as he plays on the swings?

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I like Thursday's. They are kinda like my friday's I guess. I don't have class tomorrow, but I do have work. However, I love my job and I hate law school ;-)

It is also lounge night at Don Pedro's. It is a restaurant owned by my friend's on 96th and 2nd. The food is great and the people are great and I love it. Last time I went to lounge night was the night of the great hang over. I will be taking it easier tonight.

I also normally figure out what I am doing for the weekend on Thursday's. I have decided to go to this thing Sunday at Cornelia Street Cafe for/about Latino/a American Writer's. Hopefully, knowing that I am doing fun stuff Sunday night will keep me motivated to study/pack this weekend.

The move is coming up, pray that it goes well. Finals are coming up, pray that they go well to. I've gotta get my ass in gear.

P.S. A while back I wrote about my hair. So, I went and got a hair cut and it is awful. I wanted her to do one thing with it and she did another. If you are wondering why I am always wearing my hair up now that is why.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Castle Doctrine and a Sweet Little Old Man

I was watching the news this morning, as I do every morning, though I don't quite know why. So often the television news isn't really news at all. If you are going to use television news as your news source please watch BBC news on PBS. But this is an aside.

This morning on the news was a story about a man in Colorado who was shot. The man who shot him cannot be prosecuted because of something called a "Make My Day" law. In a nutshell, if someone threatens you with harm in your home you can shoot them and you will not be prosecuted.

Here are the details of this case. Neighbor B thinks Neighbor C shot his dog with a pellet gun. B goes to C's home to confront him about this. B is a big guy, he has a stick with him, he breaks a pane of glass on C's glass door, C then takes the shotgun off of his kitchen table and shoots B in the chest. The prosecutor in the town will not prosecute Neighbor C as he was within his rights. B's family is aghast. They think this is a terrible law and are doing everything in their power to have it overturned.

My two contentions with the facts are that Neighbhor B had not yet entered the home of Neighbor C, and why did Neighbor C have a shot gun on his kitchen table? It may have been within his rights to have a shotgun on the table but, that is strange to me.

As to the law. The Make My Day law doesn't sound much different to me than the Castle Doctrine which is an established principle in criminal law. Basically, if someone threatens you in your home you are not required to run and you can shoot them (or basically do whatever you have to to protect yourself). I think this is a great rule. If a robber is in my home, if someone is threatening my child, if someone is threatening me, I want to be able to shoot them. It sounds harsh in this case because Neighbor B was a family man. I wish I knew all of the facts, and I am sure Neighbor C can be prosecuted for something. However, I don't think the rule should be overturned.

Particularly today.


Because there is a sweet little old man in my building. Running into him could make your day. He has to be at least in his eighties. He is 4'10" with the tiniest hands, the whitest hair and the sweetest smile. He is so small and yet he uses his little bit of strength to hold open doors for the ladies in the building. This weekend he was robbed at knifepoint in my building on the floor we live on. I have not seen him since I got back. I hear that he cannot sleep. I think he has probably left the building.

I want whoever hurt this sweet little old man to suffer. I may not want him to die but, the next time he enters someone's home I wouldn't mind if he got shot a few times.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Why I believe in an afterlife?

I am not religious. I am, however, a deeply spiritual person. I also happen to love technology and I rather enjoy science.
Knowing this things, here is why I believe in an afterlife.
Scientific principle--Energy doesn't end it changes form.
I believe in a human soul. So much energy goes into running a human body and SOMETHING has to happen to that energy when our physical bodies die. I've just decided that that energy changes into our immortal soul proving to me at least that there is an afterlife. I haven't decided if we have a soul while our physical bodies are alive.
Quirky? Yes. But no more quirky than the other explanations out there.

How do you spell distraction?

I got one for my birthday. I have fallen in love with it. I would spend all day practicing if I could.

Life Crisis
Everyone around me seems to be going through one. Meditate.


The last couple of weeks I have been thinking that I may never want to have children. This is a huge deal for someone like me who loves kids. I feel that if I choose to be a mom, it would be my most important job. Which is making me think that I would never want that choice. I don't want to give up any part of myself. I can't see wanting to give it up now. I love having the ability to pack up and move on at a moments notice. I love quiet. I love being able to write whenever I want to. I love not being beholden to anyone or anything. This is crazy. AND GUESS WHAT--I don't have to figure this out right now. Thank God!

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Saturday, November 08, 2003


The madness never ends. I am in florida. The week hasn't calmed down. Haven't even had the time to think of anything to write.

BUT for all of those friends who know my summer predicament--I finally got an offer from a law firm. All details will be given in person.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

What has she been up to?

I got back from DC two and a half hours ago and I am exhausted. I really liked the vibe I got from the firm. It was the first time I felt that my interviewers were frank with me about life at their firm. There is something refreshing about hearing, "yeah, we have some assholes here." I like honesty.

So, I have to pack as I leave for Florida tomorrow. I am excited.

As for Sunday. It was so wierd to be reading at the law school. I don't think I will ever do that again. I mean the event went well. I love Pa Lo Monte (see Oscar and Fish's blogs for more on it). I just wish we had more time for the poets. Somehow, when you tell people to contact you in advance if they want to read they don't. I couldn't say no to other students, and what they read was great, I just wish we had more time.

I need more time for everything lately.

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Sunday, November 02, 2003

Life was easier when I lived in Boston.
Distance is often a blessing. It gives us a perspective, a filter, lets us weed out what we don't want to know about. Let's us detach ourselves from other people's realities. There is a beauty in ignorance because knowing about things which you cannot fix only leads to frustration. And sometimes, you can pretend that things are okay when you truly know--
It is all smoke and mirrors.

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